A few weeks back I was lucky enough to win the competition that Confessions of a Little Piggy was running on her site. It got me a dinner for 2 to try out Vapiano's Spring/Summer menu. K and D being my usual and favourite eating buddies, made it hard for me to choose, so I decided to take them both and just split the cost of the 3rd person amongst ourselves.
K has never been to Vapiano before, so the concept of lining up in front of a chef to watch him/her cook for you on the spot was new to her. Vapiano is one of my regular dining places when working in Brisbane as one of my Italian colleagues can never get sick of it and I must admit, I usually quite enjoy their food too while on work assignment.
I got the pasta special (Gamberi con rosso) which was similar to the normal menu Gamberi pasta they usually have. It came with prawns, sundried tomatoes, chilli in a sun dried tomato pesto base. The sauce was nice and light and served with freshly made pasta (which is actually made on premises). It is nothing like the traditional thick and saucey pasta, but more of the pasta being just coated with enough flavour and the prawns to be the hero of the dish. Fresh and simple flavours.
K got the pizza porporrano which had a tomato base, topped with air dried beef, mozzarella, rocket, parmesen and finished with a generous drizzle of truffle oil, The pizza base was not too thick, not too thin but just right. The truffle oil turned this pizza into a gourmet pizza. Yum yum, perfect carb fix and the rocket made it feel less guilty with all the greenness.
D opted for something on the normal menu. He got the pollo e spinaci, which has a basil pesto base with chicken breast pieces, spinach, caramelised onions, pine nuts and topped with freshly shaved parmesan. It's nothing special that will blow your mind, but just good enough where it's satisfying and you will feel like you had a good meal.
For dessert, K and I got 2 to share. The first one was the white chocolate cheesecake with salted caramel and honeycomb. Creamy cheese on a crumbly base and chunks of honeycomb. It's a no frills dessert, but a good way to finish a meal. Second dessert was the tiramisu, it's almost a sin to visit an Italian restaurant and not have tiramisu for dessert. Again, this was a simple tiramisu, with layers of coffee mascarpone, and sponge fingers.
Overall 13.5/20 for the space that it plays in, Vapiano is a great casual dining experience, you watch the chef cook so you can tell them exactly how you like your meal. The pasta menu tends to have non saucey pasta, so if you like your pasta very wet, you would need to tell the chef who is cooking it. The pizza here is a favourite of mine, and for similar pricing to Crust, I would prefer Vapiano any day.